There is the work of an amount of people: a show that lasts at most fifteen minutes involves the hard work of what I could call an army.
Obviously it involves the work of the designer, who has to design the pieces, the fabrics and the styles, to conceive the whole collection.
The work of all the suppliers who make the finished garment. I assure you that over the years I have met people who are deeply dedicated to their work, who have worked day and night to achieve the final result, who have followed my craziest ideas, who believed in a sketch and turned it into reality.
This is what Made in Italy means to me.
I always send my suppliers all the pics and videos right after the show. For me it’s the greatest joy. I need it to tell them: would you believe we made it? I could never have done it without you, and yet my sketches and fantasies have become reality.
Then comes the stylist, with whom the designer defines the line up, that is the order in which the pieces come out on the runway, and the style. A fashion show must tell a story or convey an emotion: for example, with the S.U.D. SS 2021 show I wanted to recreate the atmosphere of a dreamy Southern Italy summer.
So we chose the music, we added to it the sound of cicadas, we decided to make the models wear headscarves, sandals and straw bags.
I worked with the set designer to create for our guests the feeling of being in an Apulian red sunset. The set of the S.U.D. SS 2021 fashion show was created by the talented girls of Luminaria Feste and Archegonia Flowers, who brought Apulia to Palazzo Brancaccio.
Then comes the casting and the fittings.
The models arrive. They are the first women to give life to my clothes, which until then were worn only by a mannequin: this is why I love them and feel a deep gratitude towards them. An army of hair stylists, make up artists and dressers follows the models and makes the show run like a well-oiled machine.
And I assure you that it is not easy: I would love to take you backstage to show you the calm, orderly and frenetic chaos that reigns behind the scenes and makes it possible for every woman to go out on the catwalk at the right time and with the right outfit.
Not to mention the show production, the Pr that organizes the invitations and the guests list, the photographers and videomakers. And surely I am forgetting to mention somebody.
This army works night and day for weeks and months, to create a fifteen-minutes show.
But those 15 minutes contain all the dreams of the designer and the fantasies on which he/she created the collection. Contain all the women he/she imagined to dress, or the dreams he/she wanted to give to the audience.
I’ve always been in love with the magic of fashion shows, ever since I was a child. The trembling anticipation when the first model enters and finally the designer’s fantasy is revealed: this was pure magic to me.
Do fashion shows still make sense in the post-Covid world?
I don’t know.
I’ve been asking myself this question for months and I can’t seem to give an answer. I can’t tell if we’ll sit on those benches again, waiting frantically for the first look, or if we’ll find new ways to convey the magic.
The nostalgic me is heartbroken by the thought that this magic will never happen again.
And then there is another part, which tells me that we are not the same as we were before. That I am not the same as I was before. That tells me that the pandemic has radically transformed us and that there is no going back, only exploring new paths.
For the moment I do not have an answer.
I’ll let you know.